On a Dillard's ad for the Christmas Season the words read ... "From December 14-21 Dillard's will be having the largest sale of the year ... just in time for Christmas! There will be a special appearance by Satan between the hours of 5pm and 9pm for your kids!" Now THAT is truth in advertising!
I wonder ... do we wade into the Christmas chaos, kids in tow, and expose them to a level of materialism, greed, envy of what other people have, overspending, overeating (I am soooo guilty), over-stressing and over-reacting? In a sense, we take them (and ourselves) into a place where we expose them to a "special appearance by Satan" ... all in the name of Christmas (note that Christ word in that larger word).
Christmas comes from the Old English words
Cristes moesse, 'the mass or festival of Christ'. The first celebration
took place in Rome about the middle of the fourth century. Note that this is the festival of Christ! It might be a good time to remind ourselves it is about Jesus!
Here's what I am going to pray and ask for your thoughtful reflection. "Lord, please allow your Spirit (not the spirit of this world) to fill us up this Christmas. Teach us that this is a time to excel in giving, serving, loving, caring, laughing and receiving your blessing of peace. What we see at malls and the excesses of this season is not peace ... it is an open invitation for all the wrong things to fill our hearts and lives. Send these negative things away and bring in the baby of the manger, the simplicity of the stable, the quiet of the night, the peace of being thankful, the good weariness of hands busy doing your work and the light of the God who brings life and light to everyone. Let us compare our daily lives and actions to your call to a place and life of peace ... and let us choose wisely. Give us more of You and less of anything that will pull us away from this time when we remember your great gift and ultimate sacrifice for us. Thank you for being God With Us, Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. May You govern us and may we rest our burdens on Your shoulders. May Your governance of us never end. Amen!"